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Arrowheads and Atlatl Darts: How the Stones Got the Shaft

David Hurst Thomas
American Antiquity
Vol. 43, No. 3 (Jul., 1978), pp. 461-472
DOI: 10.2307/279405
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/279405
Page Count: 12
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Arrowheads and Atlatl Darts: How the Stones Got the Shaft
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Abstract

An ethnographic and archaeological sample of 142 stone-tipped arrows and atlatl darts has been analyzed from several points of view. The raw data provide some quantitative measures against which unknown archaeological specimens can be compared. Several assumptions regarding projectile points are examined, and statistical analysis determines how much can be reasonably inferred about the entire artifact, given only the stone tip. Discriminant analysis further indicates how these 2 groups differ, and classification equations have been derived to classify unknown points as arrowheads or dart points. While separation is not perfect, the results indicate that arrowheads can be quantitatively distinguished from dart points with some degree of accuracy.

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